India in England 2014 August 1, 2014

India dismay at Anderson verdict


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'Anderson must question his behaviour'

India are shocked that James Anderson has been found not guilty in the Trent Bridge incident involving Ravindra Jadeja, but the case boiled down to one team's word against the other when it became clear crucial video evidence was not available.

The alleged pushing incident took place in the only small corridor that was not monitored by the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) cameras, a fact the BCCI is now likely to raise with the ICC. There was no video evidence presented by the ICC, who was prosecuting Anderson in this case, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Anderson had pushed Jadeja without provocation. However, once the BCCI had laid the charge, the ICC had no option but to take up the case against Anderson.

Anderson has admitted to pushing Jadeja - by the fact that the ECB did not contest that element of Jadeja's initial hearing - but his case rested on his version that he acted in self-defence after Jadeja allegedly turned around aggressively towards him. The BCCI lawyers were present at the hearing, but they were allowed to cross-examine the witnesses only in the appeal against the guilty verdict for Jadeja, which they got overturned successfully.

England added Stuart Broad to the witnesses that appeared in the Jadeja hearing: Matt Prior and Ben Stokes. India had their physiotherapist, Evan Speechly, present at the case in addition to Gautam Gambhir and R Ashwin. The hearing went on for over six hours, but some of the time went into sorting technical glitches with the judicial commissioner Gordon Lewis sitting in on the hearing via video link from Australia.

The incident happened as the players were walking off for lunch on the second day of the Trent Bridge Test. In the last over before lunch, Jadeja had survived an appeal for a catch at the wicket off the bowling of Anderson, after which the bowler was seen having a word with Jadeja. The chirping continued on the way back to the pavilion. The players walked up the stairs through the crowd, then into a narrow corridor - where the incident is said to have happened - and then through a staircase into the individual changing rooms.

The ICC's ACSU camera captured the players walking up the stairs through the crowd, and Speechly coming down the staircase from the dressing room with Dhoni at the edge of the steps. The said video was played at the hearing. However, there is no footage from the corridor that connects the two staircases. Witnesses present at the hearing confirmed that the incident took place in that corridor. The BCCI is going to take up with the ICC the issue of this area not being covered by the ACSU, but ESPNcricinfo could not independently verify if this corridor indeed is a Players and Match Officials (PMO) area, which has to be monitored by the ICC.

There was a camera in place there, but it is not clear if the camera was the ICC's or Nottinghamshire's or the host broadcaster's. At times in England, during the Lord's Test against South Africa in 2012 for example, Sky TV has shown players walking out from just outside their dressing room all the way through the long room and corridors and onto the field. The commissioner heard that the said camera at Trent Bridge was not working that day. The BCCI is likely to pursue this issue.

At the current moment, the fact remains that there is no video evidence of what happened in the corridor. That being the case, it all came down to one team's word against the other. India remained adamant that Jadeja was not at fault, and that he did not turn around aggressively, and was only reacting to abuse from Anderson. That was the reason why they appealed the earlier guilty verdict against Jadeja, and got it overturned.

Anderson admitted to having had an altercation with Jadeja, but contended he did so in self-defence. The witnesses put up by England were consistent in their response. They were called in to testify separately, and ESPNcricinfo understands their versions were almost identical.

A detailed judgement is yet to be delivered, and the BCCI refused to comment until it had seen the detailed verdict. However, it has no right to appeal because it was the ICC's case once the charge was laid. The only man who has the right to appeal now is Dave Richardson, the ICC CEO.

If he does appeal, the ICC's legal head will appoint an Appeal Panel comprising three members from the ICC's Code of Conduct commission. However, Lewis' decision will remain in effect while under appeal, unless the Appeal Panel orders otherwise.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Aniket on August 4, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    @whirlaway: "India's "pace" attack is no match or the likes of Anderson, Broad, Finn and Woakes" That's true enough and hence it makes more sense to prepare a flat track with a little bit of assistance where bowlers with pace can make a difference (Rose Bowl) rather than one that offers extravagant help to the bowlers (Lord's). So if England prepare another strip like Lord's, India would be equally happy.

    You seem very keen to point out that India's top bowlers in this series are either injured or "dog tired". Might I point out that Broad is carrying an injury and has looked off colour, Plunket is already out and Anderson and Broad are on 1 and 3 in the list of most overs bowled in this series and hence likely to be equally, if not more, tired? After these two England are left with Woakes and Finn. Woakes has played one match, hardly set the world on fire, and Finn is making a comeback and known to have confidence issues. In such circumstances, I'd be hardly dismissing the opposition.

  • S on August 4, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    @ IndianSRTfan: "I don't think England will, and rightfully so, risk another pitch like Lord's. "

    I believe the pitch for the 4th Test will be more like the one at Lord's than any of the other two we have seen so far. The bowler who got them out at Lord's in the second innings (Sharma) is out of action, and the other bowler who took wickets in the first innings (Kumar) is probably injured and if not injured, is certainly dog-tired now. The rest of the Indian "pace" attack is in the hands of Singh, Aaron, Pandey, Shami etc., who are no match for the likes of Anderson, Broad, Finn and Woakes.

  • Aniket on August 4, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    @JG2704: Yup after Lord's India had all the momentum. We lost pretty comprehensively still. So at Old Trafford, both these teams will have to start anew and push for a victory as it is the only way to go. I'm hoping for a pitch with bounce in it at least as I don't think England will, and rightfully so, risk another pitch like Lord's.

    I think you are right about Rohit's selection in that it was understandable as Binny didn't do or promise much. I still think India needs two spinners and three fast bowlers in the team. That would mean Dhoni playing at 6 but we would have Ashwin, Jadeja, and Bhuvi (if he plays) at 7-9. That's batting enough for me!

    Re Swann's replacement, I think it will be almost impossible to find another one like him. Moeen is doing a good job but you're right he won't run through lineups like he did at Rose Bowl. England's fast bowling depth though looks very good. And Buttler's addition imo is just what they needed. Too many accumulators otherwise.

  • clair on August 4, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    Robson isn't up to test level yet he need to go sought out his technique especially against the ball wide of off stump, its time to bring root back up to open, Where is Compton these day?

  • kumar on August 4, 2014, 0:45 GMT

    @USA_Res, well when I say ENG was kind of fortunate I didn't really mean to take the credit of ENG players. ENG bowlers definitely bowled well but that was not all. There were many Indian fielding errs and bad umpiring which were crucial. many irresponsible shots and runouts from Indian batsmen made me to say it was a Indian batting failure. It also showed their inexperience. If it wasn't irresponsible batting why do you think Indian batsmen fell for spin who are really good at? Just because Indian batting couldn't score doesn't make a slow/flat pitch lively one. BTW why do you think spinners from both sides got so many wickets on this pitch?

  • S on August 3, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    @sweetspot: The problem with your argument is that those bad performances by England bowlers occurred years ago, and in a different format of cricket. Contrast that with the problems that the Indian bowlers are having - their injuries, exhaustion and lack of form are happening right here and right now.

  • StJohn on August 3, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    I've read comment elsewhere that fans want to watch teams going hard at each other, including sledging. I don't agree. Fans want to watch good, competitive cricket for sure. But the sledging, the narkiness - it doesn't enhance the game and just undermines it. It is unnecessary, unbecoming and it's long overdue that cricket boards, umpires and the ICC take a much tougher line against this unsportsmanlike behaviour.

    As for Anderson, he's such a fine bowler he really should just leave his bowling to do the talking. Please.

  • Senthil on August 3, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    @whirlaway - England's pace attack is spearheaded by two guys, one of who is the only bowler on the international circuit who got hit for six sixers in one over, and another who went for 94 in 10 overs against Bangladesh. So what?

    It is this same Indian attack that defeated England not so long ago. Records don't mean anything. It is who performs on a given day that matters.

  • John on August 3, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    @IndianSRTfan on (August 3, 2014, 3:17 GMT) Thanks alot bud. Re momentum - I disagree that it means squat as I think any team would rather have it , but it is certainly not the be all and end all. If the next pitch is a turner India could have the advantage if they add Ashwin to the side. There's no way Ali is a frontline spinner despite the 2nd inns figures and I'd say long term Eng have major issue with the loss of Swann. Re India's team selection for the 2nd test - I can see why Rohit was chosen ahead of Binney as it would make the batting stronger and looking at the overs Binney bowled it's hard to justify him on his bowling but maybe it gave the batsmen a false sense of security re the depth?

  • Aniket on August 3, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    @JG2704: As always, very sensibly put. By and large most of the posts this time have been balanced from both sets of fans. I agree that these two teams will need a considerable time before they can start vying for the top spot in test rankings.

    India's bowling attack remains moderate although there's some good news there with some decent, if inexperienced, young bowlers competing for spaces. I don't recall a time in recent past where we had a selection of 6-7 fast bowlers to select from. Ironically it's the lack of quality spinners that is serious.

    England on the other hand has an extremely inexperienced batting barring two, that'll take some time to be successful in all conditions. Likes of Ballance, Root, Ali, Robson, Buttler will need serious improvements to their techniques when they play on turners in India and face pace attacks of SA, AUS even NZ on fast seaming tracks.

    But both teams are largely made up of young talent that, if handled properly, will be exciting to watch.

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